Stretching, Flexibility, Mobility and Recovery. Be Stronger. Get Faster. Avoid Injuries!
I think too many people get caught up in their favorite sport or exercise and focus on the training that drives that. I often get asked; “What weight lifting or training can I do to improve sport XYZ or body part ABC?” When I tell them that they need to focus on overall body balance, they don’t want to hear it. They want to get stronger legs, or stronger arms, etc. But, if you train one muscle group in isolation, you lose balanced strength, flexibility, and agility in your body holistically and you risk injury.
Similarly, there is a tendency to want to lift more and work out more frequently to drive faster progress. But, again, you risk overtraining and actually slowing down your progress. Today is a rest and recovery day for me. It is also a reminder to take the time to stretch and use the foam roller and a lacrosse ball (believe it or not) to work on tight and sore muscles. A lacrosse ball is a great (and cheap) massage tool that gives you really good control over where you place it to work on different spots (less than $2 on Amazon). You can apply deeper pressure with a lacrosse ball with much less force.
For example, I will place a lacrosse ball on the floor and carefully lie down on it to massage my “favorite” stress spot: The tight muscles under and around my shoulder blades (i.e., between the scapula and spine). This pressure point and muscle treatment has also increased the mobility of my shoulder a great deal, which helps with my military press, overhead squat, bench press, etc. You can see a great video that shows how to do this on the Mobility WOD site. I am a big fan of this site. He has a ton of stretches and movements that help you maintain overall flexibility and mobility, especially for atheletes.
[…] overhead with NO WEIGHT! My shoulder flexibility held me back. But, I’ve been working on stretches and using a lacrosse ball to open up the muscles around my scapula and shoulders. It is helping and I can do a better OHS […]